Aquarium Accessories

Should I place my fish tank on the floor?

fish tank on the floor

Fish tank on the floor

One of the most important things an aquarist should consider is where the fish tank should be. As easy as this may sound, there are so many things to be put in consideration before deciding where to put the fish tank. The position of the fish tank will contribute immensely to the health of the fish tank. Not just for the fish, but for you too.

Fish tank problem on the floor

  • Uneven and unlevel floors

Uneven and unlevel are two different things when it comes to aquariums. Uneven floors just as the name suggests, they are floors that are sloped and sag and create an uneven surface.

“Uneven” in relation to the tank and the stand refers to the points of support on different planes of the fish tank, as one corner is higher than the other three, and a lot of stress is concentrated at one point of the tank, not distributed evenly as it should be, and this can result in either a seam letting go, (or just leaking) or a pane cracking. This usually happens gradually until the endurance limit is reached, then things happen quite suddenly.

However, “unlevel” in this situation means that the water is slightly deeper at one end than the other (or front to back), having uneven or unlevel floors can put stress on the glass and/or joints resulting in wet floors. And it is also more common for items that you keep in the room to fall on your fish tank and cause damage to your fish.

As with all the potential problems caused by sloping floors, don’t put your aquarium at risk, the problem must be corrected before the aquarium is placed and filled. Your fish tank is one of your biggest investments. The risk of damaging it could ruin your fish.

How to level your fish tank on the floor

With an unlevel tank, the bottom corners can be shimmed with most things that won’t compress over time, but using too many shims, or shimming more than two corners can result in unstable setup. If a large amount of shimming is required, use thick shims instead of very thin shims. You can also use vertical center braces.

  • Pet Problems

If you are a pet owner, you can have an aquarium in your home as well as cats and dogs which is good, but you can have pets that may be attracted to your fishes and wants to eat your fish which can be bad.

For one thing, by placing your fish tank on the floor, your dog may have to try to reach the tank. Either way, your tank will likely be tipped over, with its contents on the entire floor. This includes your fish.

With fish flapping about on the floor, some dogs, who have high prey instincts thinking fishing can be fun. This happens even when some pet parents have a koi pond in their backyard. Dogs have been known to pull fish out of the pond and eat them.

At that point, your dog can catch your fish and eat. He is only responding to his natural instincts. Therefore, it is not advisable to put your fish tank on the floor, mount it on a stand.

Whether or not you like the top to down view of the fish, it is not ideal for the fish to be kept at the ground floor like that. This is because, someone could accidentally dash against the tank or drop things that could be unhealthy in it. Changing water with a gravel vacuum can be hard to do too.

Can the floors support your fish tank?

Fish tanks can be surprisingly heavy when full of water. The small ten gallon tank often holds about seventy pounds of water, knowing that water has a lot of weight. For instance the weight of the gravel, equipment, and tank, it will exceed one hundred pounds. It is best to use the sturdy fish tank stand instead of other furniture.

It is important to know the size of the fish tank to ensure that your tables or floor can handle the load.

Here’s the thing:

It is unlikely that your fish tank will fall off the floor, but you cannot rule out the possibility. Heavy aquariums can cause serious structural damage as the pressure causes water to collapse and ruin the floor.

You can calculate the aquarium load capacity to make sure your fish tank doesn’t fall off the floor which depends on the size and floor layout.

You don’t have to worry about protecting the floor unless you have a monster sized fish tank of 150 gallons. You can easily place a fish tank with less than 60 gallons of water anywhere in your home.

Related questions about fish tank on the floor

  1. The fish tank should never be exposed to the direct heat of sun or daylight that is very bright. New aquarists will always have to deal with algae growth and excessive light could be a contributing factor to that. More so, you are running the risk of having fluctuation in temperature or even an overheat, which is dangerous to the health of the fish.
  2. The tank should not be placed near radiators, or a fire place, or an air conditioner. Fish tanks require a steady water condition, like the temperature and the texture. The tank does not have to be placed close to the radiators or air conditioners, these devices can cause the water temperature to cool or heat up quickly and this is not healthy for the fish and often results in the death of the fish. The same is applicable to the constant changing of temperature.
  3. Do not keep the tank by the door

More than air does, water emits shock waves that are way too stronger, so if the tank is by the door, the fishes always become frightened. If they are always scared it is not good for their health.

  1. Use a sturdy stand for your fish tank.

Fish tanks can be surprisingly heavy when full of water. The small ten gallon tank often holds about seventy pounds of water, knowing that water has a lot of weight. For instance the weight of the gravel, equipment, and tank, it will exceed one hundred pounds. It is best to use the sturdy fish tank stand instead of the furniture. It is important to know the size of the fish tank to ensure that your tables or floor can handle the load.

  1. Aquarium should not be left in the center of the room

Keep the aquarium where your tank will be supported by a wall or in a corner. Until you confirm the strength of the floor and the size of the tank because the floor could collapse.

  1. The tank should not be on ground floor

It does not matter the view you are enjoying, it just does not sit right to have the tank in a top to down view because someone could drop something in it or accidently push it down and you do not want that. Changing water with a gravel vacuum is even harder.

  1. Avoid TV sets and speakers

Light the flashes on the TV and the sounds from the speakers are good for the fishes at all. The vibrations, echoes, lights, and sounds, when in excess cause the fishes too many stress that can result in a poor health condition for the fishes, and as such should be avoided.

  1. The aquarium should not be placed directly above the power strip

This is often dangerous for a few reasons. Remember that water is a good conductor or electricity, and that every aquarium or fish tank, has a volume of water in it, it is then essential to be mindful of the electricity before picking a stand for the tank. More so, the electrical appliance need to be handled carefully to avoid casualties and domestic accidents.

  1. Do not keep the tank far from water sources.

The aquarium requires change of water either weekly or monthly. Being near a tap water can mean that there is no need to carry water to and fro and incur stress to oneself.

  1. Place aquariums where they can be seen

It does not matter how careful you may seem to be, or how instructive your words are, if a fish tank is not where it should be, danger may be looming. It is very important to place the tanks right where they can be seen, and in a place that is visited often for no specific reason.

Final thoughts on placing your fish tank on the floor

Choosing an ideal location for the pet fish, the aquarium, and for yourself, especially when it is for long periods requires careful consideration. For larger aquariums the position is most likely going to be permanent because it will be difficult to move them around afterwards as they have a lot of weight.

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